I have finally weakened and written a follow on to 'The Rosebud'. If you are not familiar with this particular work, reading it first will add background and atmosphere.
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Tennessee Williams has my condition described to a tee : 'A Cat On A Hot Tin Roof'. I have been like this for nearly a month. Plus, for the past six months I have alternated between euphoria when you call me and despair when you are a few days 'late'.
Adam has been getting quite testy with me. Today he is downright angry. Although he still refuses to contemplate speaking to your mother, he wanted to be here for your arrival. But I have sent him to the high tops to start work on the fencing for some new paddocks we are breaking in. I am being selfish, maybe childish, but I want you all to myself for these first precious minutes.
You get out of the car and make your way towards me carrying your bag. You came alone with Jules. Your mother is not with you, yet you still sat in the back seat. I see your slim, graceful form, but I cannot really believe you are here. You are even more beautiful than last time. You look wary, as if you are uncertain of your welcome. I meet you halfway. As Jules drives off I ask you where your mother is and you tell me that she is in Australia at a Women's Collective convention. Read 'Lesbian Fuckfest'
I think cruelly to myself. The wounds are still raw. Not from the reality, but from the manner in which the truth was revealed.
Hand in hand we go into the house. I desperately want to pick you up in my arms and crush you to me. But I too am unsure. Nearly seven months is a long time in the life of a young woman who is still shy of nineteen.
We kneel on the floor to go though our usual comforting ritual of unpacking your things in your room. You give me a swift peck on the cheek. My heart lifts. You have made up your mind that you are glad to be here. Most of your city clothes will stay in a drawer, unused until you go away again.
The physical changes in you since you were last here are astounding. Your breasts are full and rounded. They stir intriguingly under your sweat top as you pull things from your grip and stow them away. Are you wearing a bra? The skin-tight royal blue Lycra toreador pants you have on reveal how your hips have broadened, the subtle sweeping curves of your thighs and the perfect high, firm globes of your backside.
The pants are so tight I can see the outline of your underpants. They are so tiny! I am flustered. You still had a child-like quality when you went away in December. Now, in July, you are a young woman. Can so many profound changes really happen in so short a time span?
Suddenly you say that you want to get out of 'these horrible city clothes'. You stand up in front of me. In one fluid movement you strip off the toreador pants and throw them to one side, You strike a pose, feet apart, your right hip cocked with your hands clasped behind your back. You are smiling cheekily, your head is tilted to one side with your tongue protruding between your even, white teeth. Your fresh, young beauty is breathtaking. Your panties are royal blue to match the discarded Lycra.
They are indeed minute. They barely cover you. A few stray dark hairs peek above the 'waistband'; yet another sign of your advancing maturity.
I feel as though my heart has stopped dead in its tracks. I gulp audibly and suppress the temptation to say, "Don't stop there!" What would you do if I said that?
The rosebud on the inside of your thigh is the same though - a dark pink stigmata on your otherwise flawless skin.
"Am I as pretty as Brittney Spears?" You ask.
"She'd look like a carthorse beside you," I manage to gurgle.
You move right up to me. You lean over me and grasp both my ears with your hands.
I am mesmerised by the elusive swing of your breasts under your sweat top as you bend over. You tilt my face up to look into yours. "Tell the truth now, Daddy…who's Brittney Spears?"
I smile sheepishly, "I have absolutely no idea!"
"Oh, you are a real old fuddy-duddy aren't you! But I still love you to bits though."
I give you a playful smack on your delightfully rounded butt. "Hey, hey, hey! Less of the 'old fuddy-duddy', yer cheeky young flipperty-gibbit. You forget my collection of Jimi Hendrix and Santana… not to mention Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker!"
"Oh, Daddy! Those old guys are so un-cool!"
Ouch! That puts firmly me in my place!
But then you kiss me. It is not the soft, sweet, young girl's kiss I am used to receiving from you. Your mouth opens. Your tongue enters my mouth seeking mine. Incredibly, I experience a surge of alarm at where this may lead us. Then I respond. My body responds. The kiss seems to last for hours, although in reality it is probably not more than a minute or two. Our tongues coil and writhe together frantically. We exchange our saliva, our very life breath.
We break off as if a guardian angel has tapped us each on the shoulder. You stand upright, looking down at me. Your cheeks are flushed. Your eyes are huge, dark, serious pools. Your chest is heaving irregularly; mine is as well. Somehow, my hands have come to hold your hips. Your smooth flesh burns my palms. One small movement of my thumbs would hook the fragile elastic holding up those tiny bikinis and I could slide them down your legs, exposing the mysteries of your cleft to my hungry gaze. I know in my heart that you would not stop me.
The harsh, panting rasp of our breathing is the only sound to break the silence. You drop to your knees between my spread thighs. You kiss me again - another passionate lover's kiss. Your arms snake around my neck. You press your hot body hard into mine. Your breasts are supposed to be soft, yet they feel as though they are drilling holes into my chest. Not for one second do I consider that what I want, what we both want, is incest. My hands find the pliant cheeks of your bottom and I haul your groin against my rampant phallus. You moan something into my mouth. I don't understand what you are saying, but I do know that it isn't a plea that we should stop. I slide my hands up your smooth sides, up under your sweat top. The heels of my palms find the soft rounded sides of your naked breasts. You indeed wear no bra!
I am just about to cup your tender orbs in my rough palms, when the sound of a furiously revving farm bike and a loud whooping holler crashes into our consciousness. Adam has arrived home from stringing the fence line with Rueben and he is expressing his elation that you are here. There is an answering 'beep, beep, beep' of a car horn. Joanna too has arrived. She is a couple of hours early.
In a guilty, hurried panic, we break apart and you scramble for the pair of old riding pants you wear when exercising your pony. As I get to my feet you look below my waist at the thunderous tumescence inside my trousers. You reach up and kiss me swiftly, "Poor Daddy!" You murmur softly. "I'll hold them off for a little while. See you in a minute." And you rush of to greet your brother and cousin.
A quarter of an hour later, with my composure largely restored, I join the three of you in the kitchen. You are sitting around the table drinking tea. Exchanging personal news is the order of the day with the biggest item for you and Joanna that Adam is head over heels in love with the eldest of three daughters from a Dutch family who farm about 15 kilometres away. Like women relatives the world over, you two females want to extract all the tiniest details and are grilling him mercilessly. The poor fellow is desperately trying to repel your noisy demands that the three of you should go and visit Caroline right away, so that you and Joanna can check her out to see if she's a suitable candidate for his affections.
My entrance restores some order. I know, because he has told me in confidence, that
Adam is on the verge of asking Caroline to become his wife. I am pleased, because she is a lovely person and her family are also good people. Caroline would never make a Miss Universe, but Adam loves her and that is enough. It is also his prerogative to release the news, and he is trying to keep it from you for the time being. As soon as Joanna sees me she runs over and gives me a big hug and a wet smacking kiss. Joanna has always been well built, but now she can be accurately described as 'a comely wench'. As she presses her incredible pillows into my chest and literally grinds them against me, I glimpse a small expression of displeasure cross your features, followed by an appraising up-and-down look at Joanna's ample curves.
I disentangle myself from Joanna's embrace with some difficulty and suggest that, when you have all finished your mugs of tea, we should saddle up the horses and go for a ride around the farm. You look pointedly at my groin to see if I have reacted as physically to your cousin as I did with you. Don't you know that I am totally yours, my darling?
The four of us ride out to the high paddocks. It is sunny, but cool with high clouds moving in from the Northwest threatening rain later in the day. I am riding a very big old gelding of uncertain pedigree that Adam usually uses as a pack horse when he goes hunting in the back country. Even so, with my height, my feet are not far from the ground. We ride in pairs, Adam and Joanna constantly looking for wild pig sign and discussing the possibilities for a hunt if the weather holds; you and I, silent with our own thoughts. You spot Rueben about a kilometre away cutting out some steers to go to the abattoir and canter over to say "Gidday".
When you return Adam and Joanna have gone to take a closer look at something they've spotted up on the bush line. You rein in alongside me and ask with a quizzical look if something is wrong, "Because you are so quiet." I tell you that I have been thinking about what happened earlier. You just smile and say, "Ah!"
Then the words just seem to spill out of my mouth of their own accord: "Where on earth did you learn to kiss like that? Have you got a boyfriend?"
You laugh ruefully, "A boyfriend? Mummy and Jules would go apeshit!" You cover your mouth at the expletive. You suddenly look about twelve years old. "No, Daddy, no boyfriend. I have kissed a boy though, just the once. It was at the School Ball before Christmas. Saint Gemma's, as you know is all-girls, so once a year we get together with one of the all-boys schools and have a joint Ball. The teachers keep a very close eye on things, but some people pair off and manage to sneak a minute or two in private before they get rounded up and herded back into the main hall again. There was this cute guy who had been making cow eyes at me all night. He eventually persuaded me to go outside with him and then rushed in and kissed me as soon as we were alone. It was terrible! Neither of us had much idea, but he was a worse kisser than I was. It was so embarrassing! We got caught almost straight away and sent back in by one of the Saint G dragons!
"I know you won't like it, and I wouldn't have said anything if you hadn't asked…it was Jules." You lean across the gap between us and gently squeeze my upper thigh, "Don't worry, Daddy! It was nothing, really!"
I am disturbed by the self-assurance of your demeanour and mature confidence in your voice. You act more like someone in her late twenties than an eighteen-year-old. Perhaps it is the hothouse environment that you are growing up in?
"One day, a couple of months ago, Mummy was working late at the Collective when I got home from school and I found myself alone with Jules in the house; something I usually try to avoid. She hadn't tested her luck for some time and caught me unawares in my room with my shirt off as I was changing out of my school uniform. Anyway, to cut a long story short, for some reason I found myself responding when she got close and kissed me. I think it was a combination of Jules being gentle - not nearly as aggressive as she usually is - and me being under constant pressure to give in to their demands. Plus, it was the right time of the month, if you know what I mean?"
I nod in the affirmative, still dreading what I am going to hear next.
"We kissed for a long time and she eventually got her tongue in my mouth. I had my eyes closed and sort of forgot I was french-kissing a woman and got quite hot and bothered. She must have thought she was going to get into my pants at last, I was getting so worked-up. But when she tried to unhook my bra, I freaked. And that was the end of that!"
I ask you what it is really like living in that atmosphere of constant pressure.
You say that you find it very stressful at times. Your mother appears to have no personal designs on you, yet she seems content that one day Jules or some other member or members of their group will have you. Sometimes you feel as though you are a Vestal Virgin being prepared for throwing into the Roman Coliseum to be feasted upon by lesbians instead of lions.
"But don't think they're all bad, bad, bad. Not everyone looks at me with greedy eyes!
There's one really nice woman in particular...Bobby. She's American, in her late fifties or early sixties. She's lovely! She has clear grey eyes that seem to look right inside your head. And she's always smiling and making gentle jokes. She grows organic vegetables and does pottery. And she makes these totally surreal quilts...wins lots of prizes. On top of all that she writes poetry!
"Bobby has such strong, capable hands. Sometimes I look at them and think of you."
You blush, "And sometimes I look at her and hope that if it has to be that way, that she will be the first."
You reach and squeeze my thigh again. "Anyway, that's all behind me now. I know exactly what I want!"
Adam and Joanna rejoin us and there is no opportunity to finish our conversation.
The rain sets in later that afternoon as forecast, killing any chance that Adam and
Joanna will go out for a hunt. The four of us spend the evening around the fire in the lounge after dinner, listening to Concert FM and talking. You head off to bed shortly after nine. The fresh, clean country air is making you drowsy.
I want to see you before you sleep. I tap lightly on your door and you invite me in.
Your light is already off. You look like at small child again, peeking out from under the edge of your duvet. I kiss you goodnight. Your mouth is covered, so I kiss your forehead. I tell you how glad I am that you're here at last. I try to reassure you on my feelings about your sexual reaction to Jules. I also speak about what took place between us this morning and apologise for my behaviour. You hush me and say that if anyone is to blame it is you. And you are not ashamed. You are pleased it happened.
I kiss you again, this time on the lips. It is soft, very sweet and tender. I move as if to leave and you ask me to wait for a moment. There is much wriggling under your covers. Then you present me with a gift. They are royal blue and carry your body heat - and your scent. In my own bed I resist the urge to relieve the pent up pressure that has reached an unimaginable peak today. Instead, I lie thinking of you and eventually fall asleep with your body fragrance clasped in my hand, close to my nostrils.
Day Two: Monday
It is still dark and a light misty rain is still falling when I wake. Adam is already moving – work on a backcountry farm doesn't wait for good weather. Not for the first time I thank my lucky stars that we're not milking. Our income may be not as high, but we are not subject to the twice-daily grind that dairy farmers have to put up with. I join your brother in the kitchen and we share a pot of tea while we discuss what has to be done today. Adam is just telling me that he and Rueben will be most of the day finishing off the new fence line when you walk in, barefoot, tousle-haired and almost buried in a huge terry robe that used to belong to your mother. Even though your eyes are still puffy from sleep, you look utterly gorgeous. Adam's body language and sudden clumsiness shows that he too is sharply aware of your sudden womanhood.
You pick up my tea mug from the table, take a sip and then clamber into my lap. You kiss my unshaven cheek good morning and nestle against my chest, cupping the mug in your palms. You radiate bed-heat like a miniature furnace. My mind spins back in time to when you last sat in my lap at this table and my senses stir. I push away the memory of your intimate scent on the gusset of that tiny scrap of royal blue cotton that is still tucked under my pillow.
Adam asks you what your plans are for the day and you tell him that you'd like to help him and Rueben finish the new fence. Your brother's beaming expression of delight makes my disappointment that I will not have you all to myself seem awfully petty. He tells you to go and have a quick wash and get dressed while he makes you a bacon sammi for your breakfast and a packed lunch for later. When Rueben arrives
I tell him that I will help the driver with the loading of the steers when the stock truck comes this afternoon. In the meantime I will go into Town to the Bank and to see my lawyer. No doubt Joanna will want to raid the supermarket to expand the bachelor-oriented variety of victuals we have in our larder.
Loading the cattle that afternoon turns out to be a minor disaster. When you and
Adam get home I am flat out on my bed, full of painkillers and with my left ankle and three parts of my foot in plaster. Most of the beasts went into the unit okay, but we were left with one ginger-tinged, stroppy bastard with a crafty eye that went for the truckie's dogs whenever they tried to get him to go up the chute. The cattle had been in the pen for nearly 24 hours emptying out, so the ground was pretty slippery and well churned up. Without thinking, I jumped over the fence into the holding pen to give the dogs a hand. The steer immediately spotted me as an easy target and made a beeline for me. If the ground had been dry my El Cordobes impersonation would have been perfect. Instead, I slipped and got bowled arse-over-kite, tearing the tendons in my left heel in the process, and getting stomped on for good measure. I was bloody lucky not to get gored. The truckie rescued me, laughing his head off of course, and got Joanna down from the house. She took me into the Hospital laid in the back of the ute – there was no way she was going to let me sit in the cab with her, daubed as I was from top to toe in fresh cow-dung. They weren't too rapt at the hospital either!
Of course you and Adam are full of filial sympathy when you see my plight. But afterwards, I also hear the uproarious laughter and shouts of 'Ole!' coming from the other end of the house and know that Joanna is recounting the truckie's version of the events. Later, you make up with me by bringing both our evening meals to my room on one large tray and sit beside me on my bed to eat. We share our wounds.
You have blisters on your soft city-girl palms and a nipped finger from working the wire-strainer, and I, in addition to the cast on my ankle, bruises and scrapes on my back and chest where the steer trampled me. You kiss your fingertips and touch them lightly to every livid mark.
You ask me if the steer got me anywhere else and I tell you: "On my backside and the inside of my thigh." With a wicked gleam in your eyes you ask me to show you.
But just then, Adam saves the day by coming in to you if you want to go with him and Joanna to meet Caroline. I am not surprised, nor upset, when you jump at the chance. You three get home very late and I am asleep when you arrive. I sense rather than see that somebody has looked into the room, but when I waken fully I am alone.
The painkillers run out on me by 3.00am. My throat is parched, so I hobble along to the kitchen on my crutches to get a drink of cold water. I don't feel like going straight back to bed and make my way to the lounge and sit in my armchair gazing into the softly glowing fire, wondering what to do about you. I doze off to sleep in the warm silence.